Thousands of Kurds take to the streets in Syria

Tens of thousands of Kurds protested today in Qamişlo, Amûde, Serê Kaniyê (Ras al-Ayn) and other Kurdish towns.

They carried 25-metre long Syrian flags through the streets, waved placards in Arabic, Kurdish, and English, chanting mostly in Arabic, but sometimes in Kurdish. They shouted ‘God, Syria, Freedom, and that’s it!’ They also shouted in Kurdish ‘Azadî, Azadî, Azadî!’ (Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!)

One of the most common refrains was: ‘Wahid, wahid, wahid! Al-sha’ab al-suri wahid!’ ‘One, one, one! The Syrian people are united (one). (‘!واحد واحد واحد الشعب السوري واحد’) Arabic

In the city of Qamişlo (al-Qamishli) between 8,000-10,000 mainly Kurdish demonstrators took to the streets chanting for freedom and their rejection of sectarianism (‘We want national unity!’). In Amûde more than 2,000 marched through the streets.

Some signs and slogans were:

‘No to hypocrisy, no to corruption!’

‘Arabs and Kurds are brothers.’

‘Arabs and Kurds against corruption!’ (‘العرب والأكراد ضد الفساد’) Arabic

‘Freedom and equality do not mean conspiracy and corruption.’ (‘الحرية والمساواة لا تعني المؤامرة والطائفية’) Arabic

‘Freedom is respect of the people.’ (Azadî rûmeta gelan e!) Kurdish

‘From Amûde to Hawran, the Syrian people won’t be dishonoured/insulted!’ (Hawran is the region in SW Syria where Dera’a is located). Protesters in Qamişlo were saying the same thing, replacing Amûde: ‘من القامشلي لحوران الشعب السوري ما بينهان’ Arabic

Unlike in other parts of the country, no army or security forces intervened in the protests.

One protester in Qamişlo said, ‘We want freedom. This is not an issue of citizenship, but an issue of being a citizen.’

Below are some videos from earlier today (first two from Qamişlo, next two from Amûde):

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5 thoughts on “Thousands of Kurds take to the streets in Syria

  1. when i strated to read that i though Kurds demonstrated for Kurdistan, not for Syria – but of course everybody is free to choose the country. but i wonder now, why i go to london to take part in demonstrations for rojawai Kurdistan. maybe i should demonstrate for syria?

  2. Strange! So far, some estimates claim that in those past five weeks, over 400 have been killed, yet, up to my knowledge, no Kurd has been killed, at least none from any Kurdish towns/cities! Is it because the regime fears the reprisal of the Kurds in such case due to the great power the Kurds wield in mobilizing the streets or is it a little deeper than that? Perhaps an advise from their Turkish counterparts not to irritate the Kurds!?

    @Kulka; Dear miss, the Kurds are, we can say, “obliged” to show their “Syrianness” to the public. What is happening in Syria is a diplomatic gesture by the Kurds to first gain their rights and also to be identified and recognized in the Syrian constitution as Kurds, for this is the first and most important step to take at this moment. then later the next step will come for them to ask for, let’s say, federalism, and from there; total independence. Demanding independence and calling for their own legitimate country now would be political suicide because they will become the scapegoats and the government easily will consider them “conspirators” and will crush them and turn them into the culprits behind the recent developments which will result in the Arab citizens turning against the Kurds as well. This happened in 2004 when the Kurds took to the streets demanding their rights but the result was that dozens of them were massacred, not a single Arabic organization, institution, political party…etc defended them. So the Kurds have learned their lesson and are not planning to make the same mistake twice. Now they play by the rules of “Unity and Diversity”, but the ultimate and unchangeable and rightful demand and goal still stands firm, which is total independence.

    In fact it is the same case for all Kurds everywhere. Those in the south have reiterated that they want to remain as a part of a “United Federal Iraq”. The folks in Turkey say they only want more rights and maybe some sort of autonomy. In Iran, it is the same case. So, let them take it lightly, step by step moving forward, until ultimately reaching the goal they have so longed for; Independence for all Kurdistan.

  3. i dont believe in diplomatic dialoque with tyrrans and dictators. but hopefully i am wrong. its just because i am more than angry, i am mad, when i see that my people are opressed and kill, still in XXI century in fron of the all world eyes – that makes me to hate the enemies, not to negotiate with them. but as i said – lets hope i am wrong and what Kurds doing now will work – lets hope

  4. Yes, NC, you’re right. All the deaths have been in Dera’a, Homs, Lattakia, Banyas, Duma, Hama, Damascus, and a couple other places. Here’s a document of all the martyrs to date: http://bit.ly/gGwQHm. None in any Kurdish cities or towns where they have been demonstrating. It’s been a ‘hands off’ approach with the Kurds this time.

    As for what Kulka said, you’ve pretty much summed up what I was going to write!

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